Poll: 78% of Americans Want Congress to Vote on Use of Military Force Against ISIS Before Midterms


The latest Reason-Rupe poll finds 78 percent of Americans want Congress to return from their recess to vote on the authorization for use of military force against Islamic State fighters, also known as ISIS, in Iraq and Syria. Sixteen percent say Congress should not return before their recess concludes in November, and 7 percent don't know what Congress should do.

With Congress's 19 percent approval rating, it is perhaps less surprising Americans feel Congress left DC without a vote to avoid accountability. Fully 63 percent of Americans say members of Congress haven't voted on the authorization of military force because they don't want to put their vote on the official record. Only 15 percent of Americans think Congress hasn't voted because it believes President Obama does not need their authorization for military action, and 8 percent felt Congress simply hasn't had enough time yet to hold the vote.

This is a rare non-partisan issue in which overwhelming majorities of Democrats (77%), Independents (78%), and Republicans (83%) feel Congress should weigh in on this important decision.

Younger Americans are considerably more likely than older people to give Congress the benefit of the doubt. Fully 72 percent of Americans over age 55 think Congress has delayed holding a vote to avoid putting their vote on the record, compared to 53 percent of millennials.

The Reason-Rupe national telephone poll, executed by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, conducted live interviews with 1004 adults on cell phones (503) and landlines (501) October 1-6, 2014. The poll's margin of error is +/-3.8%. Full poll results can be found here. including poll toplines (pdf)  and crosstabs (xls).